Employee Rights

Employee Rights

Difference Between the Fair work Commission and Fair work Ombudsman?

Difference-Between-the-Fair-work- Commission-and-Fair-work-Ombudsman?
Find out where you should be, it effects your rights. You only get one chance at your unfair dismissal claim

Difference Between the Fair work Commission and Fair work Ombudsman?

Is a question that needs answers. There has been confusion for the last 12 years, when the Fairwork Act was enacted on the 1st of July 2009. Fair work is a great name and I understand the rationale. However it only works if its fair to everybody. Particularly the day to day users. Employees who have being dismissed, lost their jobs. underpayments, or award queries are examples. More people search in Google Fair work Australia, than Commission or Ombudsman, they are not sure what they are looking for.

We all witnessed this with the recent pandemic. Jobkeeper, jobseeker, not getting vaccinated, wanting to continue to work from home. I don’t want to work from home and I’m being made to. Lets try and bring some clarity to the situation.

The specific functions of the Fair work Commission include:

1) Judging disputes, complaints in the workplace, (including unfair dismissal, general protection applications and anti bullying applications). sexual harassment stop orders.
2) Maintaining the minimum employment standards including wages and employee rights
3) Reviewing and changing awards and agreements
4) Various other functions related to the workplace.

5) Resolving and ruling on matters relating to the National Employment Standards (NES)

The FWC, (as its known) also has a free call service to provide basic and general information on the Fair Work Act 2009. However they cannot provide legal advice.

Therefore, it is more appropriate for employees, employers, contractors and any other relevant parties that believe they have workplace liabilities or responsibilities, particularly around wage theft. To call the Fair Work Ombudsman for free advice and information.

Looking confused, where do i go. Why isn’t there one place that can handle everything/ (well as we know government doesn’t work that way)

The Fair Work Ombudsman also conducts investigations

The Fair Work Ombudsman also conducts investigations. Basically they enforce the underpayment of award wages and disputes around this For most of our clients, we recommend that employees who believe that they have been underpaid go to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

This is to enquire into what they should have been paid and request an investigation if they have indeed been underpaid. You can take underpayments to the Fairwork Commission under various sections of the Fairwork Act. However it is easier in the first instance to go to the Ombudsman.

Non payment of superannuation

One point worth noting we get allot of enquiries around the issue of late or non payment of superannuation. Or around the issue of contractors and superannuation and whether they qualify for superannuation. This issue is the responsibly of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The ATO has a very helpful page on this. Its with a step by step process if you qualify for superannuation and non payments of superannuation.

Side note to this is watch your superannuation payments by your employer. It is one of the few payments by the employer that is not guaranteed by the government if your dismissed or if the company is liquidated.

Conciliation room at the Fair work Commission used for unfair dismissal or general protections claims

Employees ring the two fair work bodies

We get feedback that many employees ring the two fair work bodies and particularly the Ombudsman and the time waiting to discuss a matter can be lengthy. The Ombudsman is clearly under resourced, and this needs to be fixed. Employees should be entitled to their monies in a timely manner and assistance to do this. People then give up and lodge a claim with the alternative body, thinking that will do, it will sort its self out, well it won’t. Both bodies in essence do there own thing and don’t necessarily interact.

Many employees get confused and try and lodge a unfair dismissal application with the Ombudsman. When it should be with the FWC, being a strictly enforced 21 days to lodge a claim then find them selves out side this timeline. They have the serious risk of having their claim denied. Some employees lodge a unfair dismissal claim because they have not been paid there redundancy pay and its unfair, (it belongs with the Ombudsman). Then end with having to pay the Employers legal cost because their in the wrong place.

Workcover claims

This has nothing to do with the Fairwork regimes. It belongs in the various states with the work compensations authorities, or work safe. You may be able to bring a unfair dismissal or general protections claim if your sacked for being on worker compensation. Or for making a workers compensation claim. Get advice immediately for this. Again I’ll state there is a strict 21 days to lodge a claim.

Help is there, sometimes its a journey to get there. Give us a call, we are here to help.


We all should be able to go to one body for all things to do with the workplace. Unfortunately its like health, you can end up with a dozen bills for the one hospital stay. We stay connected on social media, etc, etc. But when it comes to issues that matter, it appears very little progress has been made in the last 30 years.

Not sure, get advice from us, its free, its through. Equally The FWC and the Ombudsman have enquiry lines, and are are helpful people. Call 131394, be aware they cannot give legal advice, they are their to process your claim.

We are A Whole New Approach, we are not lawyers, but the nations, leading workplace advisors. With some 30 years experience. We are leaders in workplace commentary, social justice and employee rights. Get advice today, its free, prompt, confidential and honest. All Fairwork Australia, matters including general protection claims, redundancy, probation issues. We work in all states, NSW, Vic, Qld, SA, WA, Tas, happy to help.

A article on Fair work Australia that may assist you, click here

An article on Fair work compensation, click here

How much is my unfair dismissal worth?, click here

Fair work Australia, click here

Fair work Australia, protections rights, click here

Less Pay More Jobs For Female Barristers

This headline is from an article published in the “The Australian” newspaper today (Sept 18, page 6)

Pay issues outstanding? Equal work for equal pay

Less Pay, More Jobs, For Female Barristers. I wrote an article on the blog on exactly this topic (16th of Sept) how more females are graduating, entering various professions. How they get less pay than their male equivalents.
Its ironic, the legal industrial that represents people / workers in discrimination and sexism claims doesn’t treat its own workforce equally.
It’s the old adage “do as I say, not what I do”
Still small steps. I raised the issue the other day, now “The Australian” is publishing material on it, at least its getting more and more in the conversation.

Its not just about the pay rates

Its not just about the pay rates. It flows onto promotion, how workers get treated. If you can’t even get equal treatment in the workplace regarding pay, do you seriously think you get equal treatment when comes to performance, discipline issues, dismissals?

It seems common place for male lawyers to take the Friday afternoon, to have a long lunch with their friends (referred to as networking)., A female lawyer wants to go home to see her kids in the afternoon after working extraordinary hours for the week and she runs the risk of being laughed at. She is seen as “soft”, “not committed”.

This approach applies in a lot of professional workplaces. It is slowly changing, its inevitable, why the wait, act now!! Call us to chat, or do something about it.

Employees of any gender can take the employers discriminately behaviour in relation to wages, conditions, promotion issues to the Fair work Commission (F8C application). In the alternative there are equal opportunity and human rights commissions. Anti dismission boards in every state and territory in some form. You have rights, its how you excise them is the key.

Equal pay brings allot of benefits for all concerned. Increased productivity, less discrimination claims, less unlawful dismissals, less resignations. Increased harmony in the workplace. However to some degree this conflicts with typically competitive industry. Where everybody strives to get ahead, seniority means more fees, more income.

Historical thinking, less pay, more jobs

Historically, commentators and academics consider two theories to explain the gender pay gap.

The first, human capital theory, puts the emphasis on women’s choices to explain why their pay is less than men’s pay. It hypothesizes that individual characteristics or qualifications. Age, education, training, work experience and history. These are responsible for differences in pay between all workers.

This theory says that some workers are paid less because, for example, they lack the needed level of education, training or work experience compared to their competitors. The theory further suggests that women’s wages tend to be lower because they choose to work fewer hours. Due to family and childcare responsibilities, choose occupations and industries that offer lower wages. however more flexibility or expect their career paths to be discontinuous.

All those choices lead to women accumulating less human capital; as a result, the theory goes, women are paid less than men because they do not achieve the qualifications required to assume positions in true competition with men.

We need to work towards more than token diversity. We all need to get out of our comfort zone, contribute to the debate, make a difference as they say


The second theory, called the discrimination theory, hypothesizes that the discriminatory practices in the workplace are the main culprits of the pay gap. It suggests that discriminatory practices lead to differential treatments. Which then may lead to biased assessments and expectations. Reflected in productivity, performance evaluation, and appraisal towards one group of workers over others. Intentional and unintentional discriminatory practices are common. (male barristers tend to get more senior briefs and longer trials).

Lets face it we are all more comfortable within our own socioeconomic groupings. What’s not supposed to happen this is reflected in the workplace. ie “the boys club”, speaking a particular language to the exclusion of others. Some laws firms now, want the name, school and university left off the resume as part of the selective process. So the selection process is non biased, giving females, non private school applicants and less credentialed university graduates a fair go.

Researchers found that when female musicians auditioned for symphony orchestras, their chance of being hired went up when they auditioned behind a screen, concealing their identity from their interviewers.

Diversity, what’s wrong with that? It can create companies of character, non stereotyped individuals. It can infuse competitiveness, create companies of values, that are ethically driven, that are admired by others. Everybody wants to work for.

Less Pay, More Jobs, For Female Barristers

We are A Whole New Approach P/l, we are not lawyers, but the nations leading workplace advisors. I hope “Less Pay, More Jobs, For Female Barristers” was of interest to you. If you have concerns, questions, worried about unequal treatment, your salary compare to others? Call us. We are leaders in workplace commentary, diversity and equity in the workplace. give us a call, its free, confidential, prompt and honest. All FWC matters, including unfair dismissals, general protections, workplace disputes. We work in all states, including Vic, NSW, Qld, Tas, SA, WA.

Articles similar to “Less Pay, More Jobs, For Female Barristers”

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“Fortune does favor the brave!” 1800 333 666

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AWDR is a web site owned by us, 150 pages of good workplace advice and commentary, enjoy

Why Women Are Being Unappreciated and Poorly Paid.

Why Women Are Being Unappreciated and Poorly Paid has to be addressed now, its not a simple answer to what appears to be a simple question, please read on.

Many politicians, journalists and commentators, claim that this is due to females tending to be in lower-paid careers. Of course, the pay equality complaint is that females are paid less than males for the same work, but the discussion should also include the fact that females do tend to be in lower paid careers and why. The truth is that “women’s” careers are paid less because it’s females who tend to do the work. Don’t believe me? Just look at the history.

Femininizing Fields

You might hear some people say that if females want to be paid more, they should work in higher-paying fields. This might seem like good advice, but the fact is that the more females who follow it, the less true it will become. This is because jobs are paid less as they gain popularity with females.

Look at recreation: As females began to outnumber men at gyms’, boot camps, as personal trainers and the like, jobs in that field saw a pay drop of 57% from the 1950s until today, even after adjusting for inflation. The same can be seen in more artistic careers as designers, artist, picture framers have seen their wages cut by 34% as the industry as seen more females employed. Biology, and Ecology used to be a highly-respected fields in science, but as more and more females became biologists and are employed, the wages fell by 18% and it’s now seen as a “soft” science, rather than the harder (more masculine) fields of physics and chemistry. Think of other fields, like psychology, teaching, disability care, etc. You can probably come up with dozens of careers and occupations that fit this pattern.

So, jobs are paid less when they become “feminized.” But the opposite is true when males start to take over a previously female-dominated field. A good example is computer programming. Most programmers and systems analysts were once females, and, at that time, the position was seen as menial. As males poured into the field, it began being paid substantially more. Not only that, it’s gained a lot of prestige; no one would say computer programmers have tedious, or menial jobs anymore.

Think that it just shows how priorities have changed over time? Consider doctors. While female doctors are paid less than their male counterparts in any specialty, we also see a massive pay gap between different kinds of specialists. Pediatricians, who are overwhelmingly women, are paid significantly less than most other specialties. There’s even a huge difference between cardiologists and pediatric cardiologists in terms of pay. We can also make comparisons between countries. In the United States, medicine has historically been a very male field and it’s highly paid. In Russia, medicine is a field dominated by women, and it is paid extremely poorly in relation to other professional field.

There is a argument and the evidence indicates that pay is largely determined by the gender build-up of the industry. Male-dominated fields pay, on average, 21% more than more “feminine” fields. It’s not that females choose lower-paying jobs; it’s that females work is paid less, no matter what that work entails.

Minimal Pay

So, what about males in female-dominated careers? Answer: they’re still paid more. Male nurses earn more than female RNs in every specialty. About three quarters of public school teachers are women, which might explain why the field is so poorly paid. Even so, male teachers earn 10%+ more than female teachers. Even the titles change for very similar jobs. Janitors, who are mostly males, earn more than housecleaners, who are generally females.

And then there’s the minimum wage. Nearly two-thirds of minimum wage earners are females. When the minimum wage was introduced in Australia, the idea was that a man working 40 hours each week should be able to support himself and his family at a decent level of living. Today, working full-time on the minimum wage can do no such thing. Back then, the intended beneficiaries were men (and their families). Today, the minimum wage goes mostly to females, and now the minimum wage no longer fulfills its intended purpose. Coincidence? I think not.

It’s Time to Start Appreciating Females and the Work They Do

The simple fact appears to be that typically “feminine” careers are paid less because it’s women who do the work. Regardless of what type of work it is or what skills are necessary, the more females are in a occupation / profession, the less it gets paid. On top of that, males in all fields, including “feminine” industries, are paid more than their female counterparts. This bias in favor of males trickles down to our very minimum wage, which has seen drastically reduced buying power as females began receiving most of those minimum payments. All of this indicates that it’s not women’s work that is undervalued; females themselves are undervalued.

Working women deserve equal recognition, respect, and pay for the work they do. It’s long overdue that females be valued and appreciated, for their contributions to society and otherwise. females still aren’t treated – or paid – equally, and it’s about time they were. If the job is important enough to exist, it’s important enough to pay it fairly, whether male or female do it. It’s time to start valuing females and the work they do.

This article is meant to provoke thought,

I’m not pro female or anti male, i’m pro everybody in the workplaces of Australia. There has to be more discussion in the current difficult economic times, particularly as we start to reemploy people as we come out of the recession. There is no easy answer to the conversation outlined above, history shows us, in recessions, pandemics, that’s it’s the less advantaged, the working class poor, part time workers that are impacted the most. It’s well advertised that partners in accounting and law firms are taking pay cuts on their $400,000 to $800,000 jobs, but there is no doubt they will survive, maybe their lifestyle will have to be adjusted. Workers in lower paid positions, (in many cases females) who are the household dominate income provider, will lose the car, house etc, this will then impact on the physiology of the next generation of children as it did in the great depression.

We are A Whole New Approach P/L, we are not lawyers, but leading workplace advisors for over 30 years, in sex discrimination, under the General protections , sexual harassment, adverse action claims for women. Diversity in the workplace, gender issues, want to contribute to the debate, give us a call. We are Australia wide, NSW, Qld, Victoria, Tas, SA, WA, NT

1800 333 666 or email: mediate@awna.com.au

AWDR for 150 pages of additional information

Less paid for female barristers, click here

Dismissed and replace by a cheaper worker click here

FAQ’s click here

Discrimination of the poor, click here

Your Employment Rights With the Pandemic

Parts of Australia are current in a state of emergency and a state of disaster simultaneously amidst the global pandemic. With this, our rights and the laws we are governed and live under are changing on an extremely frequent basis. Both the state of emergency and state of disaster declared by our different levels of government has a significant effect on our rights, and it is extremely hard to keep up with the overload of information and constantly changing status of the law. So, with this article, we seek to clarify the standing of your employment rights.

Arguably the most common area of advice that is requested from our associates are surrounding redundancies, and whether they are genuine or whether they have been unfairly dismissed.

The high complexity of our industrial relations system prevents a ‘one size fits all’ answer. So, with regard to a redundancy, the first logical question to ask is whether the business or industry your employer is in has been detrimentally affected by COVID-19. If the workflow or stream of revenue has been substantially reduced due to COVID-19, your employer may have a rational reason to have made you redundant as it was a practical business decision.

However, not all hope is lost. Despite the real possibility of downturn in business, do you feel as if there was an ulterior motive in making you redundant over someone else?

Are you of the belief that you were more qualified or experienced than the employee who was not dismissed? Being or having been pregnant, being or having been on workers’ compensation or even having made honest complaints in the workplace, could be grounds for you to argue that your redundancy was actually not genuine.

At A Whole New Approach, we utilize our vast experience, knowledge and our strong logic and common sense to tackle the very real employment issues of today. There were many issues in the work sector where employees wished to protect themselves by wearing protective gear like masks but were prevented from doing so by their employer and sometimes even unfairly dismissed for it. As aforementioned, there is no straight answer to these employment issues, so make sure to contact us immediately to see if there is anything you can do to protect your employment rights amidst the global pandemic.

We are here for you, A Whole New Approach are the nations leading advocacy and advisory service, we are not lawyers, we are fiercely independent, any thing to do with the workplace, Fair work Commission, unfair dismissals, general protections, forced to resign, give us a call its free, prompt and honest advice. 1800 333 666 or email: mediate@awna.com.au

AWDR for 150 pages of additional reading

Workplace whistleblower, click here

Mental Health and Animals in The Workplace

Mental-Health-and-Animals-in-the- workplace-avoid-dismissal
Dealing with mental health is clearly a challenge, animals are here to help. Avoid dismissal, develop strategies.

Mental Health and Animals in the workplace

Mental Health and Animals in the workplace, was originally written some 12 months ago and has now been updated. I’m surprised (compared to some articles I post), the extraordinary amount of interest shown in the concept of the article. This is both from employees and some of Australia’s largest organization who have rung me to discuss the concept. I didn’t invent this idea, I merely put it out there in a higher profile. A lot of web sites and articles is only about making money, return on effort. Unless there is a unfair dismissal claim in it, or whatever ,its not published. Its obvious this is not a money making venture. I’m 67 now, and if I can make a difference I’m so happy. It sounds corny, but I don’t care. There is something to that saying, “leaving something behind” Please read on.

Animals in our lives can be important.

Mental health and animals in the workplace, what a great topic. Every recession and tragedy in history has shown that people consequently suffer great detriment and negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing, due to harsh economic circumstances. The possible mental health impacts correlated with the economic recession, now raising interest rates and the pandemic is a prominent topic of discussion.

With such alarming forecasted figures of the psychological toll on Australians, as a direct result of COVID-19, returning to work, we are increasingly concerned for our Australian workforce. Animals are important in developing menu strategies in dealing with mental health both in and out of the workplace.

Day in, day out, we hear the stories of employees from all over Australia who suffer from poor mental health as either a result of hostile and unsupportive work environments or extraneous circumstances. Redundancies, unfair dismissals, discrimination sexual harassment in these dark times is on the increase. With the projected statistics pertaining to declining mental health, it is imperative that employers create safe and compassionate work environments for their more vulnerable employees.

Indirectly-animals-contribute-to-increased-productivity-less-unfair- dismissals-(less-dismissals)
Indirectly animals contribute to increased productivity, less unfair dismissals (less dismissals)

Treating anxiety by having service dogs or companion animals

An increasingly popular method of treating anxiety is to have service dogs or companion animals as they can help ease the effects of panic attacks, or on returning to work “social anxiety”. Provide a sense of calm and even get your medication for you if need be. Other animals that have scientifically proven to help people reduce their anxiety and stress levels are rabbits, fish, guinea pigs, horses and cats.

Considering your work may be the most stressful part of your life and the biggest cause for anxiety, you would want your anxiety animal to accompany you. But how appropriate is it to bring your emotional support animal present with you in your workplace? You have to be reasonable about it, recently a employee tried to take a large peacock to work on a plane. Clearly this wasn’t allowed. A noisy pig, may not be appropriate.   

Dismissed for bringing a support dog to work

We previously had a client who was dismissed from her employment for bringing in her support dog to work. This made us curious as to whether employers would see a rise in employees wanting to bring their support animals to the workplace. Particularly after COVID-19 and the subsequent economic depression.

Would it be fair to discriminate against an employee who simply uses an animal instead of medication which could impair cognitive functioning or have other health side effects? Is it our human right to be able to treat our illnesses in the way that we think is best? It is a natural therapy, and may reduce medications.

Once-employees-get-over-the novelty- of-having-animals-at-work-they- become-part-of-everyday-workplace- life
Once employees get over the novelty of having animals at work, they become part of everyday workplace life.

Animals reduce stress

Many people feel stress. Research shows that just patting a pet can ease stress and reduce your blood pressure. Even watching fish swimming in an aquarium reduces stress. It can also help you relax and practice mindfulness. The calming effect of animals means you can increase productivity.

Animals provide companionship

Pets can be affectionate, accepting, loyal, honest and consistent. If you feel isolated with little support, a pet can help reduce your loneliness. What’s wrong with a faithful friend?

Animals fulfill the human need to touch

Most people feel better when they have physical contact with others. Simply patting a pet can lower your heart rate. This does not have to be a distraction at work. A pat, two minutes talking to your animal is no different than a coffee, a conversation with a colleague.

Happy-employee-stroking-her-Scotch- Collie-at-the-office-should-not-be-dismissed
Happy employee stroking her Scotch Collie at the office

Animals require routine and organization

Most pets require a routine of feeding, cleaning and exercise. This can give you purpose and motivation which can help your self-esteem, wellbeing and mental health.

Animals provide a sense of purpose

A pet can provide you with a sense of purpose, which helps improve mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. If you have a pet, you are never alone and you are also responsible for looking after them.

Animals increase your social interaction

Pets create opportunities for better social interaction, especially if you join an animal club or attend pet shows. Going to pet-friendly events, beaches or parks can also help increase your social network. You could make new friends just by taking your dog for a walk or waiting at the vet, due to the shared interest in your pets.

If you have a fear of social situations, or social phobia, a pet can help with slowly introducing you to other people who also have pets and enhance your mental health. Due to the lockdowns during the pandemic social anxiety has drastically increased.

Animals improve your fitness (dog owners)

If you own a dog, they need regular walks, and this exercise is good for you too. Exercise, like walking, has many benefits for your mental health and wellbeing. You can also use the time walking your dog to improve your fitness. to make the most of the outdoors to help you further develop mindfulness and relaxation.

Studies have shown that dog ownership is linked with a lower risk of death over the long term. Which is possibly due to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

If you have a fear of social situations, or social phobia, a pet can help with slowly introducing you to other people who also have pets and enhance your mental health.

Animals can lead to flexibility, work-life balance, companies allowing animals into the workplace shows the values of the company. It will lead to employees deciding where they want to work. Smart employers will see it as a positive.

Concerns and outcomes raised have to be rational and reasonable

Our answer to this is to be rational and reasonable. If you currently or will benefit and rely on a support animal in the future and you wish to bring them into your workplace, we suggest you have a conversation with your employer. On whether this would be appropriate and whether it could be facilitated.

It might be interesting for you to know that one of the biggest American corporations, Amazon, allows their Australian employees to bring their pet animals into work! Unfortunately, it will most likely not be appropriate if you work as a nurse in aged care. Or a hospital, or in any workplace that requires the highest level of hygiene. You still need to consider not getting dismissed through all this.

We sincerely hope employers will open their minds to the reality of the serious mental health concerns. This is particularly so as we will be facing in the near future in light of continued uncertainty. If, however, you feel as if you have been unfairly dismissed for exercising your human right to bring your support animal to work, give us a call immediately and we will do our best to help protect your rights.

Should not be dismissed-for-requesting-to-bring- your-pet-to-work

Conclusion to Mental Health and Animals in The Workplace

I hope the article on “Mental Health and Animals in The Workplace” has been of some interest to you. We try our best to keep you informed what’s going out there in the work community. If you want to write something, contribute to the debate, workers rights, email me. We are A Whole New Approach P/L, we are not lawyers but the nations leading workplace advisors, if we can help in any way, give us a call, it free, confidential, prompt. 1800 333 666.

Any Fair work Australia and Fair work Commission matters, including unfair dismissal, general protections, redundancy, workplace investigations give us a call now. We work in all states, Victoria, NSW, QLD, SA, WA, NT, Tas

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Mental-Health-and-Animals-in-the- workplace-We-should-all-be-treated-with-respect
In these trying times, we should all be treated with respect, not dismissed unfairly for wanting assistance.

Workplace Mental Health look after yourself


Workplace Mental Health look after yourself

What can you do to protect your job, avoid being dismissed and safeguard your mental health? The effects of the pandemic, the lockdowns, working from home will last for years. This a brief article to act as reinforcement for you. The federal and state governments have increasingly acknowledged the effects by increasing the amounts of money made available for mental health. Take advantage of this, access this as you or your doctors deems necessary. Workplace Mental Health look after yourself, stay focused on yourself, noting wrong with that.

I have saying I use. “where in the bible does it say you cannot put yourself first?”. Sometimes in life, in the workplace this is what you have to do, to survive, to reduce the mental health effects. To keep that job, to avoid that dismissal, to take away the insecurity of it all.

I want to briefly talk about where we are at, then some brief comments around your rights and options.

What is happening to employment after the COVID-19 pandemic?

The coronavirus pandemic is taking many more victims than just those who contract the virus. pandemic also carries in its wake drastic economic impacts. This in turn have caused a massive increase in redundancies, unfair dismissals, terminations and forced resignations. The domino effect of widespread business shutdowns, particularly in Victoria facing Stage 4 restrictions, is sending ripples through society. Our mental health will incur the ramifications.

If it wasn’t enough that the fear of catching coronavirus has plunged many into an ongoing state of worry and anxiety. This coupled with frequently updated restrictions on going about daily life. Once you add unemployment, or the threat of unemployment to the mix, it seems quite challenging to cope with it all.

What may happen to the mental health of laid-off workers?

Loss of a job or ongoing workplace issues fueled by pandemic panic is enough to exacerbate pre-existing mental health issues. However, in these unprecedented times, even those without any pre-existing conditions are not immune to mental health concerns. COVID-19 has already been linked to numerous mental health issues, including anxiety, stress, depression and insomnia.

A 2009 European study amid the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) found that every 1% increase in unemployment was correlated with a 0.79% increase in suicides in persons under the age of 65. Now, in 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to exacerbate mental health issues and suicide risk factors. Which the evidence has the potential of causing a long-term rise in suicide rates.

The effect of the pandemic on mental health, as well as employment prospects, will not just be confined to the tumultuous year of 2020. Ordinarily in Australia, there are over 3000 suicides each year. However, it is projected that due to COVID-19, there may be a 25% annual increase in suicides for up to the next five years. This equates to an additional 750 to 1000 lives lost each year as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Studies show that those workers in geographical locations and sectors most affected by job losses, such as in rural and regional Australia, will be most greatly affected.

Always keep your self respect

Young people significantly effected

Young people are also projected to be significantly affected by coronavirus job losses, as a large proportion of them constitute the casual workforce in Australia. (many have been casuals for years, with house and car payments). They are usually some of the first to be let go when there has been a stoppage or slowing of work. Lost income and difficulty obtaining alternative employment may cause immense psychological and financial stress.

What can you do to safeguard your mental health?

It is easy to get caught up in the tumult of the world around us, but it is important to remember that if you do unfairly lose your job, you have options. If you believe your redundancy was not genuine. That you were forced to resign or you were unfairly dismissed. You may be able to seek compensation through pursuing your matter through the Fair Work Commission.

If you haven’t lost your job but you are facing ongoing issues in the workplace, particularly sexual harassment and discrimination, you also have options for redress. No-one should be made to feel unsafe or uncomfortable in the workplace. Your mental health should not be made to suffer, simply to keep your job. There is no doubt some employers will try and take advantage of the situation. Pay you less, make you work harder, long hours, sexual harassment is increasing. What will some employees put up with to keep their job?


As experienced workplace advisors and representatives, we can help you obtain justice and support. By seeking advice and advocacy, you can put your emotional and psychological fears at bay. COVID-19 has caused tough times for all Australians, but you are not alone in your struggle. If you have unjustly lost your source of income, or you are facing ongoing issues in your workplace, we are here for you and we will fight for the outcome you deserve. Your mental health and wellbeing in the workplace is our priority.

Reach out, don’t be embarrassed

Call us now on 1800 333 666 to speak to someone about whether you have a potential Unfair Dismissal or General Protections claim, or to just chat about your workplace situation.

You should also look at our pages on toxic workplaces, this may assist in your recovery, we here to help! We are A Whole New Approach P/l. AWNA are not lawyers but the nations leading workplace advisors. All Fair work Commission matters, including workplace investigations, redundancies, forced to resign. Workers rights, employment rights, and abandonment of employment matters. We are leaders in research, workplace and social commentary. We work in all states. Victoria, NSW, QLD, Tas, SA, WA, NT. Advice is free, prompt, confidential, make the call today 1800 333 666

Should you employer say sorry (when their wrong), click here

Who has the fairest unfair dismissal laws, click here

Animals and mental health in the workplace, click here

Workplace Mental Health look after yourself, take care

Can you be bullied when working from home?

Can-you-be-bullied-when-working- from-home?
Bullying is bullying, it doesn’t matter how and where it occurs. Some employers will bully you more because its not face to face. Threatening you with dismissal is common place by bullies.

Can you be bullied when working from home?

Bullying when working from home, has only recently come into focus. Where more people were working from home, because of the effects of the pandemic. Can you be dismissed for retaliating?, defending yourself? what’s the test of bullying? what can you do about it? Bring threatened with dismissal is effecting your mental health.

Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)

Workplace bullying occurs when an individual or a group of individuals repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a worker. Or a group of workers of which the worker is a member, at work and that behavior creates a risk to health and safety. Depending on the circumstances, employees’ may be eligible to lodge an application at the Fair work Commission

  1. For an order to stop Workplace Bullying (Form F72),
  2. A General Protections Application not involving dismissal (Form F8C)
  3. A General Protections Application involving dismissal (Form F8).
  4. In order to determine which application is best for your unique circumstances, get advice, please read on.

Workplace bullying

Bullying occurs when an individual or a group of individuals repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a worker. Or a group of workers of which the worker is a member, at work and that behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.

In the unfair dismissal case of Amie Mac v Bank of Queensland Limited and Others. The Fair work Commission indicated that some of the features which might be expected to be found in a course of repeated unreasonable behaviour constituting bullying at work.

“intimidation, coercion, threats, humiliation, shouting, sarcasm, victimisation, terrorizing, singling-out, malicious pranks, physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, belittling, bad faith, harassment, conspiracy to harm, ganging-up, isolation, freezing-out, ostracism, innuendo, rumor – mongering, disrespect, mobbing, mocking, victim-blaming and discrimination”.

Fair work Commission

In regards to establishing a risk to health and safety for the test of workplace bullying. Proof of actual harm to health and safety is not necessary provided that a risk to health and safety created by bullying behaviour is demonstrated. Thus, the bullying behaviour must create the risk to health and safety through a casual link. The test is on the balance of probabilities.

Can-you-be-bullied-when-working- from-home?
Workplace safety from bullying applies regardless of where you work.

Many employees have been required to work from home

This was due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and thus this raises many issues in regards to whether an employer’s actions will constitute workplace bullying. In order to constitute workplace bullying, the bullying conduct must have occurred while the worker is “at work”. Although “at work” is not defined clearly in the legislation.

It has been held that the definition includes work activities wherever they may occur and is not limited to the confines of a physical workplace. Despite not being physically present at work, it has been held in unfair dismissal case of Bowker and Others v DP World Melbourne Limited T/A DP World and Others. That bullying through social media platforms can constitute workplace bullying, despite the conduct not occurring “at work”.

Employer’s have been forced to utilize social media platforms and previously ignored technology

such as Zoom, in order to conduct interviews, meetings and general communication with their employees. Just because an employee is working from home, does not mean an employer can intimidate. Or victimize, single-out, yell or belittle their employees. Similarly, just because employees are working from home, does not mean that employer’s can have unreasonable expectations in regards to workload or give unreasonable directions.

The employees should still be required to complete the amount of work they would have had they physically gone into work. They should still be entitled to the same breaks and they should only be contacted during work hours.(you should not be working from laying in bed as many have been doing).

“Bullying when working from home”,

This does not mean an employer can abuse the employee’s freedom by making them work until late at night. Or contacting them constantly in order to make sure they are being productive. Or having to be available 24 hours a day. In return, employees should not be abusing this freedom by not meeting daily targets or completing their allocated tasks.

Many employees believe if they work from home. They can procrastinate or get away with not doing as much work as if they had physically gone into the office because they are in the comfort of their own home. If employees wish to be treated with respect. They must also respect their employer and their directions, if they are reasonable.

Bullying should not make you feel like your getting an injection everyday. But you cannot simply ignore the boss by leaving the zoom or the laptop off. This starts to create reasons the employer can discipline you or dismiss you.

Children at home

Another important issue during this time is related to employees with young children they are required to homeschool due to the pandemic. As many Australian states have adopted remote learning for primary and secondary students. Many parents have an obligation to homeschool their children. Although older children are more disciplined and can complete the remote learning tasks themselves. Younger children, such as primary school children, require assistance and guidance from their parents, who are also working from home. This can pose an issue for employers as it becomes difficult for employees to juggle homeschooling and completing their own workplace tasks for their employer. This can be particularly difficult if the work space or apartment is small.

Conclusion to Bullying When Working From Home

In conclusion, both employers and employees will need to communicate. To be understanding during difficult times. Employees need to understand when their employer’s conduct or directions are unreasonable and thus constitutes workplace bullying. In order to discuss whether you are being bullied at work or whether your employer’s directions are unreasonable. Please give us a free call on1800 333 666 .

Our article on can you be bullied when working from home?, raises any issues you want to talk about call us. We are A Whole New Approach P/L. We are not employment lawyers, but the nations leaders in advocacy, representations, commentary. Anything to do with the workplace we are here for you. Unfair dismissals, general protections, workplace investigations. We work in all states, Victoria, NSW, QLD, SA, WA, Tas, NT

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Workplace Discrimination of the Poor


Workplace discrimination of the poor?

What on earth does this mean? We receive in excess of 10,000 enquires each month. There is a distinct pattern of employees from lower social economic backgrounds and working class areas getting dismissed more and in a harsher manner. The answer you say may be that’s because there more of them. Overall we simply do not get the unfair dismissal or unlawful dismissal claims from the wealthier suburbs. In fact I’ll go further to add the wealthier the suburbs the less claims and dismissal enquires we get.

The other point I want to make is discrimination occurs in the recruitment process by suburb. Particularly in the professional services sector, legal, accounting and financial. This occurs pronominally in Sydney and Melbourne, if you not from the eastern suburbs or schools.

Workplace discrimination of the poor, is a challenge to discuss in that its also a taboo subject. However it has to be discussed and exposed for what it is. In Australia, the legal definition of direct discrimination is being subjected to ‘less favourable treatment as a result of possession of a protected attribute’. The ‘protected attributes’ include race, age, sex, sexuality and others, but importantly, does NOT include poverty or socio-economic status.

Serious cause for reform

We at A Whole New Approach firmly believe that this is a serious cause for reform in Australian law. As once again, those who are under-privileged socioeconomically, are being discriminated. Time and time again we are finding Employers are mistreating employees, through bullying, harassment, adverse actions, unfair and unlawful dismissals. This is on the premise that poor or poorer employees may not have the means, resources, education, and family support to challenge the Employer. Either through the Fair work Commission and the various equal opportunity and human rights commissions.

This is shown time and time again where specific groups are targeted. Young employees from broken homes, females who are victims of domestic violence, older divorced males, etc.

What we as a company understand, but most fail to realize (particularly those that have only known privilege), and what the legislative council needs to consider. Is how interconnected lower socio-economic status and poverty is linked to the already instituted protected attributes under Australian law.

Poorer or disadvantaged people queuing for government payments and hand outs. We complain when they do it. “look my taxes are being wasted again”. But do we want them to join the ruling class?, join us?, have the same career opportunities?. Have the resources to pursue unfair dismissal or unlawful discrimination claim properly. We simply don’t want to know about it.

Workplace Discrimination – Poverty & Exclusion

A multitude of studies have unfortunately shown how highly correlated growing up poor is with other disadvantages. Such as its effect on educational achievement. Physical and mental health, healthy social interactions and behaviour, family stability – the list goes on. All these consequences that are clearly linked to poverty, or lower socio-economic status. Each potentially have a roll over effect to encouraging social exclusion of those that are less fortunate. This prejudices can be found in places of employment as well.

A look into mental health service use in Australia very clearly shows the significant disparity between those of low socio-economic backgrounds and those from higher. The former show higher reports of complex mental disorders like ADHD, anxiety, depression and various other conduct disorders. As a result, more commonly reach out to these services provided. Other factors frequently related to poverty such as absent parents, less supportive schools and communities. All have shown causative relations to poorer mental health.

Dismissed, sacked, forced to resign, discriminated against, call us ASAP

Mental health and poverty

As previously mentioned, mental health is not the only thing detrimentally affected by poverty. Too many studies have pointed out that being of lower socio-economic class has significant associations with poorer physical health status, even mortality. The stress of paying ordinary household bills may already be a heavy burden on those that have less. Then there is the added burden of deteriorating health and medical bills, which then in turn attracts even more illnesses. Example is low socio-economic groups, are forced to retire earlier from work due to poor health, and clearly follows less superannuation to support themselves.

Many financial institutions, law firms and accounting practices, will not employ anybody from the western suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne, these are seen as trouble making areas, certainly lower social economic areas. Wealthy companies just don’t want to know about it. To have employees from these areas with their perceived or potential problems part of their work social setting. You see this in some high end companies unless the job applicant is from a private school they will not employee them despite their ability to perform the role.

Single mother, in social housing trying to save her job, cannot afford to be dismissed. Do we seriously believe she gets treated the same as someone from Melbourne’s or Sydney’s eastern leafy suburbs

Quality education has many different implications

Socio-economic associations even have a negative impact on academic attainment throughout one’s life. Alarming observations include seeing children of impressively high intelligence but lower wealth at the age of 3, being completely taken over by those of significantly lower intelligence but higher wealth, by the age of 5. Socio-economic class continues to be a dragging weight to academic achievement. Whereas wealth affords more supportive and well-resources institutions to boost academic success. Quality education has many different implications. Such as better-paying jobs which would help end the cycle of poverty, less stressors in life which would lead to better overall health… The benefits continue while those with lower education as a result of poverty, continue to lag farther and farther behind. 

How do single employees in social housing with children work successfully from home? (the new way of working post pandemic) I’m not saying they should get a new house. But there has to be some acknowledgment of the personal circumstances. We do this for everybody else. (people with disabilities, mental heath issues). They should not be dismissed.

Conclusion to Workplace Discrimination of the Poor

This article only briefly outlines a small part of the vicious cycle of being poor, and how essential it is to realize these realities of the impacts of workplace behaviour. Even if being poor – and its very real consequences – are effectively ignored by the law. We will do our best to have your pain and suffering recognised in the eyes of the law and by the employer and persons that has caused you this detriment. We would be humbled to be your representative and will fight for your rights exhaustively. A good article to read is diversity and equity in the workplace, click here

Our article on workplace discrimination of the poor raises any issues you want to talk about call us. We are A Whole New Approach P/L, we are not employment lawyers, but the nations leaders in advocacy, representations, commentary. Anything to do with the workplace we are here for you. Unfair dismissals, general protections, workplace investigations. We work in all states, Victoria, NSW, QLD, SA, WA, Tas, NT

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Why its Important to have Representation

Why-its-Important-to-have- Representation
Big sign for big trouble, get advice for your unfair dismissal claim.

Why its Important to have Representation

This is not a info ad. The goal is to point out the risks and benefits of representation or self representation in your unfair dismissal or general protections claim. The obvious benefit of self representation is there is no cost. But is this the goal of your claim? No it is not, its to get the justice and compensation you are entitled to. The question is how do i get it? Read on.

Representation is very under rated, people want to “have a go themselves”.

Lets have a go!. Why not, on social media, Youtube, there’s a manual on anything and everything, can’t be that hard can it? Maybe yes, maybe no, its a matter of priorities, importance. Like anything in life, if its a important matter, get the experts in. People say to me, well I can do this. I’ll respond, well its not working out to well so far. Your dismissed, sacked, terminated. But its up to you, this article “Why its Important to have Representation”, is to give you options. Opportunity’s to think of ways, strategies moving forward.

I’m worried, i want the best outcome

Have you been recently dismissed, discriminated against or harassed? Unsure what to do but think you would like to make a claim with the Fair work Commission? It could be beneficial for you to seek advice and/or representation through a paid agent or lawyer. A representative is an individual who acts on a party’s behalf. This could be a lawyer, a paid agent, an employee or employer organization or someone else. Find someone who are experienced to draft the claims and applications on your behalf to a Federal Court standard. In turn who run the conciliation conferences, run arbitrations and have thousands of decisions published in the various jurisdictions. Experience counts.

Why-its-Important-to-have- Representation
Employee sorting the evidence for his unfair dismissal or general protections claim.

Representation, by yourself

Running your dispute or claim in the Fair Work Commission, Anti-Discrimination Commissions, Boards and Tribunals, you have the option of representing yourself. Or seeking representation through paid agents such as A Whole New Approach. The various commissions, boards and tribunals support self-represented individuals. But they will not always have your best interests in regards to settling your matter.

When a unfair dismissal, general protections or discrimination claim is brought to these various jurisdictions, their job is to resolve the matter. Whether you are happy with the outcome or not. This is why representatives, lawyers and paid agents can assist you as they will argue your case to the best of their ability. In order to get you the outcome you deserve. If this is not convincing, take a look at the statistics and procedures of each jurisdiction when deciding whether you should obtain a representative for your claim.

Fair Work Commission

Pitfalls at the Fair Work Commission.

An example of this. It is a common issue at the Fair Work Commission in that those who are not eligible to lodge an Unfair Dismissal application, lodge a General Protections Application and continue to use the term “unfair” in their argument.

Unfair Dismissal Applications are often disguised as General Protections Applications. But these have different tests under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).By drafting your claim correctly from the beginning. It shows that you understand the legislation, how the Respondent has contravened these provisions and thus when negotiating a settlement or remedy. The Commission and the opposing party will take your case more seriously and be more inclined to settle.

These applications are set down for a conciliation conference, in which the parties attempt to come to a resolution before the matter is referred for a formal hearing and determination.


Expected standards at Fair Work hearings.

When appearing at the Fair Work Commission, there are standards to be aware of in regards to the conduct of all people attending a hearing or conference at the Commission. The standards are in place to assist the Commission in providing fair hearings for all parties. Providing hearings involves allowing all parties to put their case forward. To have their case determined impartially and according to law. The Commission and all parties appearing before it, including representatives, have responsibilities to each other and in providing a fair hearing for all participants.

When you have a representative, they will guide you as to what these standards are and this will indicate to the Commission and the opposing party that you are taking the matter seriously. In order to argue the best possible outcome, applicants need to seize both the moral and legal high ground in the way they carry themselves during these conferences and hearings.

Representation at the Fair Work Commissions.

It is also important to note that the Fair Work Commission is an independent government body and so they are impartial. This means that the agents of the Fair Work Commission. Such as conciliators or Deputy Presidents, are not on the employee’s side. They provide even handed advice to both employers and employees on the merits of the unfair dismissal claim. If you engage a representative, they will address the merits of your claim. The Respondent’s arguments and provide you with the best advice on how your case can be best handled.

When the matter is listed for a conciliation conference, representatives make need to seek leave, or permission, to appear on an Applicant’s behalf, depending on the Application. In most cases, representatives are allowed to appear on behalf of the Applicant as the Commission understands that the Applicant unfamiliar with these types of proceedings.

The Applicant would be going up against large companies and corporations who have more knowledge about the requirements and procedures under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). In addition, most claims have a great deal of complexity in regards to the issues involved. and Your representative will assist you in outlining the relevant argument for your particular application in order to “make your case” and convince the other side to settle.

In the Fair Work Commission 2018-19 Annual Report,

13,928 Unfair Dismissal applications were lodged. Of these 13,928 applications, 78 percent were (a total of 8,161) were resolved at the conciliation conference with the assistance of the Commission staff during conciliation. However, in order to settle these matters for an outcome an Applicant rightfully deserves, a representative’s expertise in negotiating are of high importance. The outcomes of these conciliations included monetary payments and non-monetary items (such as a Statement of Service or Resignation) for 50 percent of these claims. In 26 percent of cases, there were monetary payments only and in 18 percent of cases, there were non-monetary items only.


The Representation process.

There is a strict 21 days to lodge an application. This means if you have been terminated, do not waste time dwelling on your termination. Instead contact a reputable firm and enquire whether you have grounds to lodge an unfair dismissal application.

However, in claims where there are additional issues at hand, such as whether there is discrimination or sexual harassment, we often discontinue the matter at the Fair Work Commission and lodge an application to Anti-Discrimination Commissions, Boards or Tribunals. Again, these applications are primarily run on a no-win, no-fee basis and so we pursue the matter as far as we need to before you are offered a resolution you deem fair and just, given the circumstances.

Representation at Anti-Discrimination Commissions, Boards or Tribunals

A Whole New Approach lodges discrimination complaints in various jurisdictions around Australia to Anti-Discrimination Commissions, Boards or Tribunals. Our expert team has lodged thousands of applications of discrimination and sexual harassment to these jurisdictions. These Anti-Discrimination Commissions, Boards and Tribunals have measures in place for self-represented individuals. Statistics show that applications with representatives have a higher settlement rate all together.

For instance, the 2018-19 Annual Report for the Anti-Discrimination Board of New South Wales indicates that only 19.1 percent of cases settle at or after conciliation and only 7.5 percent of cases settle prior to conciliation. This means that there is a total settlement rate of 26.6 percent. A total of 14.6 percent of cases that are resolved at the Anti-Discrimination Board of New South Wales, these are referred to the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunals.

Why-its-Important-to-have- Representation

A Whole New Approach Settlements

If you feel that you have been unfairly dismissed, discriminated against or harassed, you deserve to take action against the unlawful treatment you have endured. However, as things have not worked in your favour so far, it is difficult to see how a person would be successful at taking on their previous employer in these disputes.

“Why its Important to have Representation”, I think this is a great article for your consideration, your knowledge. Our statistics indicate that a high majority of our cases settle either the Fair Work Commission. Discriminations claims if lodged to the Anti-Discrimination Commissions, Boards or Tribunals, a large majority will settle at this stage. Regardless of where we lodge the Application, our 30 years’ experience and master negotiating skills mean we can assist you in improving your outcomes. In turn ensuring you obtain a settlement. In order to discuss potential applications,

Please give us a free call on 1800 333 666.

An article that may be of interest for you on negotiation of a settlement click here

An article on compensation click here

Being forced out of your job, (get representation), click here

About us, click here

FAQ’s, click here

Want representation? Maybe yes, maybe no. Give us a call, explore your options, all termination of employment issues, diversity in the workplace concerns. We work in all states, Victoria, NSW, Qld, Tas, SA, WA, NT

Got Sacked While Taking Leave

Got Sacked While Taking Leave. Handed a letter, confirmed got dismissed whilst away from the office

Got Sacked While Taking Leave

Got Sacked While Taking Leave, this is not uncommon. The following brief article I hope bring some insight into the situation / issue. If you get sick on holidays can you get sick leave pay and have the holiday pay recredited to you? Interesting question, to say the employer is suspicious of this is putting it mildly.

Top reasons employers dismiss you while your away from work.

  1. Employers don’t want the confrontation
  2. Easier just to send a letter, with no discussion
  3. They found that they could absorb your role, and simply don’t need you anymore. (see this particularly with maternity leave situations)
  4. Employer’s just don’t think in many cases your going to come back anyway.
  5. Co workers, subordinates put the boot into you. Complain to the employer behind your back whilst your way. your not there to defend yourself. The employer simply believes the employees and lets the mob rule, get their way.
  6. Don’t want you back in the office, saying goodbye to everybody, maybe causing trouble.
  7. No chance to take forms, manuals, delete computer files. Get evidence for a potential unfair dismissal claim.

Top reasons employees give when not coming back on their scheduled return to work date

  1. Sorry I missed by flight and its to take days to rebook, the airline is not cooperating
  2. The cars broken down, its going to take a week to get the spare parts here.
  3. My kids / wife’s ill and I can’t just leave them here.
  4. I ill / sick, I’ve emailed you a doctors certificate, I’ll be off for another week / 2 weeks (from Fiji, India this is quite common)
Got Sacked While Taking Leave. You do have rights if your injured or ill in the workplace. Or returning to work

This can end in tears and a dismissal

Employers are not stupid, I’ve seen numerous employees caught out on extending their holidays because of the issue they are sick. The employer says can you give me a copy of the original return ticket. Then i comes out you only booked one way, no return date because you were going to extend or you were not sure when you were returning. Or the return ticket had the latter date, and the employee is caught out. If its genuine its genuine, nothing to worry about other than the employer is very aggrieved and now wants revenge, and dismisses you.

No laws to protect an employee from being fired/dismissed while taking leave?

The surrounding circumstances of Ms Ryan being on personal leave on the day that she was notified of her dismissal could be said to be unfortunate, however it is not a relevant consideration in terms of whether Ms Ryan met the minimum employment period. I do not accept Ms Ryan’s submission that she could not have been dismissed while on personal leave. There is certainly a provision in the Act to render unlawful the termination of an employee due to a short term illness or injury; however that is not the consideration before the Commission at this time.”

Ryan v Stafford City Pharmacy Pty Ltd – [2019] FWC 3615 delivered 5 July 2019 per Hunt C

This case demonstrates you have be to careful about dealing with dismissals relating to away from work. What’s happened in this case, the applicant lodged the wrong claim. She should have lodged a general protections claim, where the qualifying aspects of the claim fall away. I have several articles on the blog that explains the difference in considerable detail. General protections and unfair dismissals, what’s the difference? click here General protections and adverse action click here

Medical-certificate-Dismissed-for-not- having-one
Work with your employer about why your away from work. How your going to return .

Unauthorized absence

If you extend your leave make sure at all times you inform your employer. Avoid a dismissal that’s referred to as “unauthorized absence”. This is when someone does not come to work and gives no reason for their absence or does not contact their employer. This why a record of you informing your employer is important. Email, text messages as to why your away and not return on a due date. I’ve already stated that the employer will already feel inconvienced. is looking for an excuse to dismiss you, don’t give them one.

Other terms people might use include:

  • ‘AWOL’ or absent without leave
  • absent without permission
  • Abandonment of employment

The employer should try to contact the absent employee as soon as possible, including using any emergency contact they have. If contact cannot be made, the employer should discuss the absence with the employee when they come back to work. Make sure you have been afforded this right.

If the employee cannot provide good reason for the absence and lack of contact, the employer might consider dismissal, a warning or investigating further. There is no one rule that dictates this situation, its case by case.

sacked-entitled-to on-centre-link-payments
If your off for extended period of time, you are entitled to access the government support system. If your sacked or dismissed, you can request a separation certificate from your employer. By law they must provide it. If not go to centre link regardless.

If the employee is struggling to attend work

The employer might consider disciplinary action if their employee:

  • keeps taking sick leave or being late (some HR systems have ‘trigger’ points to keep track of attendance records)
  • has unauthorized absences
  • seems to have trouble doing their job
  • not keeping the employer informed.
  • no medical evidence as the absences increase.

Talk you your employer, communicate, why your struggling. If previously you have being doing a good job, hopefully they will give you some leeway. If not ring us, get advice, you do have the option of taking this dispute / mistreatment to the Fair work Commission as general protections not involving dismissal claim, referred to as a F8C application.

Got Sacked While Taking Leave

Gary Pinchen and A Whole New Approach P/L are leaders in workplace commentary, research and advocacy. I have published over some 200 articles. These are not info / advertising blogs. Our goal is to assist, advise employees wherever we can. We are proud of our staff and the outcomes we get for clients. Have a question, want advice, give us a call. 1800 333 666. All claims including abandonment of employment, serious misconduct, probation issues, workers rights and employment rights.

We work in all states, including Victoria, NSW, QLD, WA

How to beat the sack, click here

What is considered sick leave abuse, click here

Sick leave, click here

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